Jean Bolduc

On Budgets and Values

A rite of spring that few of us glorify is that of setting budgets for our local and state governments. It’s too bad, really. There is little else more compelling than a well-considered budget to evaluate the shared values of a community and its leadership. How do we spend the money that we’ve collected from ourselves for the common good? I don’t know anyone – not one single person – who isn’t in favor of preventing child abuse. It’s one of the few remaining topics in our society that tends to halt partisanship and the “attack mode” associated with...

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Preventing Suicide

Yes, it’s a very difficult topic, but one we must confront. Suicide is becoming a troubling trend … growing, affecting all ages, races, genders. Why does this happen? Last August, Emily Brown got the unthinkable news that her beautiful, loving mother, Mary, had succumbed to suicide. Though she was being treated for depression, no one was expecting this. On this very special edition of the Weekend Watercooler, Emily shares with us how her family held onto each other, their friends and their commitment – their sheer will go carry on. Emily’s is an uplifting story of courage and meaning. Her mother was certainly very proud of her and now I am, too! She told us about a program she started called “Whistling & Co” that helped her turn her pain into outreach and awareness as well as reduce her personal sense of isolation. It also brought her to the Obama White House. Listen in for that amazing story. Emily is an amazing young woman. If someone you care about is thinking about hurting him/herself, please call 1-800-273-8255. If you have an iPhone, just says “suicide” and Siri will offer to dial the number for you. The MOST important thing to do when the darkness is too great, it to reach out to at least one...

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Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for many of us (including the host of the Weekend Watercooler), it’s time for the annual mammogram. I always enjoyed that post-mammogram T-Shirt with two oranges on it that says “fresh squeezed.” My particular story about this topic is that when I was in my early 30s and just a few years away from having my second child, one of my breasts started leaking a funny looking fluid. Not like breast milk, this was more like Coca-Cola. I saw my doctor promptly, then a surgeon and he did a biopsy. Whatever was going on there, it was benign, thankfully and resolved by itself. Because I was young, I was worried. When breast cancer strikes at a young age, it’s usually more aggressive. Unfortunately, some doctors can be dismissive about patient concerns … because they are young and cancer is unlikely …but not impossible. When Barbara Foushee had her annual squish a few years ago, she got a follow-up call that none of us wants, telling her to come back for a diagnostic mammogram. These are done with different plates. She got the word pretty promptly that this was probably breast cancer. Her doctor advised her about her options and she acted quickly to treat it. On our program, she tells her story and encourages listeners (men, too) to do self-exams and get a...

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Re-imagining the Library

When we think of an afternoon at the library (or just the librarian), two letters come to mind: one “S” and a lot of “H’s” …. Shhhhh! Librarians are known for having lots of rules to keep their libraries quiet for people reading, studying or just trying to enjoy the chance to be lost in thought. This week, we talked with Libbie Hough, the former Orange County School  Board member and current Communications Specialist for the Orange County Library. Libbie told us a little bit about the library’s strategic planning process and her team’s commitment to bring the work...

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Catching Up with Barbara Middleton-Foushee

You’d best put on your running shoes if you’re going to try to keep up with Barbara Middleton-Foushee. She’s a recent addition to the OWASA Board, serves in the local chapter of the NAACP, serves as a Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate and other activities and works full time … somehow! We had a great Weekend Watercooler talk on the importance of community involvement and our critical need to keep folks involved in their community and government. We talked a lot about VOTING. With the recent changes in NC law about voting (ID and early voting), there are prospects for confusion. No worries...

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Penny Part 2

Get More Rich! (Yes, Penny confirmed for me that she’s heard those word play jokes about her all her life.) This week we hear once again from Penny Rich, who IS an Orange County Commissioner, but is also a personal chef. SO this week, it’s all about FOOD! Penny tell us about the many reasons that people hire a personal chef and that you don’t have to be Oprah to afford these important services. Folks with dietary challenges like food allergies really benefit from a consultation with a personal chef. Penny helps families with creating menus, meal planning and...

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More with Sharon Hirsch

This week we have Part 2 of my conversation with Sharon Hirsch, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse NC. Following up on our discussion last week, we moved on to taking direct action – how can we help starting RIGHT NOW?! Sharon tells me that there are specific things we can do and you’ll hear what they are (SPOILER ALERT: When you help parents under stress a little or a lot, you’re preventing child abuse). She also recommends that you ask those who are running for elected office at every level what they propose to do for families and...

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Preventing Child Abuse

This week and next we’ll hear from Sharon Hirsch, President and CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) of Prevent Child Abuse NC (PCANC). Sharon has been an advocate for kids for a very long time and now has taken her soft-spoken leadership skills to this North Carolina chapter of the national Prevent Child Abuse organization. Sharon says there is a building body of evidence that says child abuse is not only damaging and traumatic in the immediate situation, but also has long range ill effects. Persistent child abuse can actually be directly connected with the development of heart disease, diabetes and...

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Incoming Commissioner Mark Marcoplos

This week we hear from Mark Marcoplos about how he’s preparing to take his seat on the Board of County Commissioners this December. Mark has been active in the fight for living wages in Orange County and finding ways to make housing more affordable for all. He’ll talk about what he’s learned in watching the commissioners meetings in recent months and what he hopes to accomplish in the next few years.  Before the interview, I learned from Mark that we share common roots in New England – he from New Hampshire, me from Connecticut, and fandom in Red Sox...

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